Last week Jason G wrote a post on starting the year out right by setting effective classroom rules. I would argue that this is one of the most important things you can do at the start of a school year (or semester). In addition to setting appropriate rules, there are other things you can do anytime of the year that can help “prime” your students for success (even if they don’t realize it). I’ve highlighted a few studies below that will hopefully help explain what I mean.
As the school year is kicking off in the US and in full swing around the globe, it is a great time to take a moment and review your classroom rules (I prefer to call them expectations). This short list is the foundation for how your school year will play out and gives your students a firm footing to know exactly what you expect. Here are 3 ideas that will help you start (or restart) on the right track.
Over the past few weeks, Jason C. and I have been writing about how to find and understand evidence-based practices for the classroom. Especially when considering the application of technology during instruction, the reality is that it is impossible for researchers to keep pace with innovation (I originally discussed that phenomenon briefly here). With that in mind, what are we to do?
Just wrapping up two days at an incredible conference in Indianapolis put on by the PATINS project. One of our sessions centered on student engagement and we taught how to actively engaging all learners using creativity, evidence-based strategy (example), and technology (example) through the UDL framework. In sharing strategies in how to engage all learners from the start, we spent a few moments on key prerequisites to hooking learners into the lesson. I wanted to expand on one here that is critical for all classrooms. Read more →
A few weeks ago I shared how I categorize my apps for use with learners. As a behavior interventionist, I have seen over and over that when students are engaged in learning, they are not engaged in misbehavior. That is why apps that Engage is one of the four categories I use for learning environments. One of the “must do” interventions for engaging learners is helping them have a system for all of the material and information that is entailed in being a student. For years, I would teach learners to organize their materials in a binder with the following:
Video self modeling is a great intervention strategy to use in a variety of settings to increase student behavioral success. Jason Carroll wrote a few great posts here and here in the past that are a great start to get an idea of what this is all about. If you want to read a recent meta-analysis of this strategy here’s a link to the article (it costs) and here’s a link to a great summary (it’s free!) that gives you the main nuts and bolts.
When considering the initial media equipment that was used in the early years of video self modeling, we have come a long way. Fortunately we have been able to trade in our VCR tapes for mobile devices! Here are 2 great apps that I have used to create video models: iMovie and PuppetPals HD.
iMovie is a mainstream app that is a replication of the software available on Macs. With the app version of this tool you can record, edit, and deploy all from the same device. Using iMovie on my iPad, I’ve been able to make videos on the spot in almost any setting. With cases like LifeProof, you can even get them wet.
PuppetPals HD is actually an app that people (children mostly) use to create digital puppet shows. I’m sure the developers didn’t have VSM in mind during the development of this app. It is a free app, but if you upgrade (an in app purchase) then you can take pictures of people, objects, and settings and use these in the creation of the video. I have found this to be a helpful tool when creating a video model of a student that will not demonstrate the target behavior. Here’s a really simple example video created in this app.
Look forward to hearing your thoughts on using these apps to develop intervention media.
The idea of using images or videos of appropriate behavior in hopes of getting individuals to replicate that behavior is a rather common strategy used today. We see it anywhere from exercise tapes to instructional videos. An adaptation of this strategy that you may not see as often is known as video self modeling (VSM), which involves individuals viewing themselves perform a behavior. This behavior may be something the individual already knows how to do or a completely new skill set that he or she needs to learn.
According to Dowrick (Hitchcock, Dowrick & Prater, 2003) Video self modeling was first seen back in the 1970s when Creer and Miklich used it to help a boy improve his social skills. The idea was that role-playing would increase the boy’s social skills, so the researchers video taped their progress. To their surprise the role-playing had little effect, but when the boy viewed the video of himself attempting role-playing he started having success.
Much has been done with VSM since that point, but the outcomes continue to show the same promising results. VSM has been used successfully to help selectively mute students carry on conversations, autistic students break out of patterns, individuals and students transition into new settings and much more.
Basically there are two types of video self modeling: Positive Self Review and Feedforward. The difference between the two is that positive self review is used to review a positive behavior that the student already knows how to do. Examples of this may include following directions, getting to class on time orsitting down quietly. These are behaviors that a student has probably already performed several times before, just not repeatedly. By using positive self review, the teacher can “catch” the student performing the behavior correctly on video, then show the student the video of him or her performing the behavior.
Feedforward VSM is a bit different in that it is used to show a video of a student performing a behavior they currently have not done before. Sound difficult? It can be, but doesn’t have to. All it requires is a little creativity. Let me give you an example. A friend of mine who works with VSM quite often went to assist with an autistic student who was bothered by several things. For example, if he were to hear a student screaming it would set him off. My friend, along with the student’s teachers, talked the student into sitting quietly and doing some work while the video camera was rolling. After catching a couple of minutes worth of footage, my friend was later able to capture audio of his daughter screaming (for the purpose of creating an audio file) and insert it into the video. After editing out any non-positive behavior, the autistic student was able to watch himself sit quietly and do his work even when loud screaming was occurring. Data was collected and the negative behavior was immediately reduced after the student watched the video.
Lucky for us, VSM has now become much more affordable and easy to create than ever before. There is no longer a need for thousands of dollars worth of equipment. Many times the result you are looking for is only a video camera and some free software away. To learn how to get started look for the Part 2 of this Video Self Modeling post.